The statewide teachers union on Thursday is cheering the decision by state education officials to dump controversial test publisher Pearson, Inc., in favor of the Minnesota-based firm Questar.
“Pearson offered a bad product and today Pearson got fired,” New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee said. “Teachers have called for this for years.”
The Department of Education on Thursday announced Questar Assessment, Inc. was awarded a $44 million contract to develop tests in English-Language Arts and math for grades three through eight.
Pearson has come under fire from both teachers and parents, in part, for its examination questions some considered too opaque as well as monitoring and collection of student data.
But the company was also the most prominent publisher nationally of Common Core-based examinations as the controversial standards were rolled out with hiccups in states like New York.
“It is a first step along the road toward ending New York’s failed testing policies, Magee said. “The Questar contract, in its promise to emulate New York’s successful test-development process for Regents exams, begins to restore the trust and confidence in teachers to do the job right. It says New York is going to trust its own teachers, not a corporation, to develop state tests.”
It remains to be seen if dumping Pearson for Questar is "a first step along the road toward ending New York’s failed testing policies" or a continuation on the same road.
I've seen some crowing on the Internet about Pearson losing the contract (and btw, this isn't the first contract Pearson has lost to Questar in the past few months), but my feeling about this best gets summed up in this twitter conversation with Mary Ahern:
@leoniehaimson Maybe have just gotten cynical, but this feels like state trying to "rebrand" Endless Testing regime.— rbe (@perdidostschool) July 9, 2015
.@mayread3 @perdidostschool @leoniehaimson Pearson is just a company doing what it's paid to do. How tests are used is the bigger problem.— Mary Ahern (@mma718) July 9, 2015
And therein lies the problem - Pearson's been replaced by Questar but the Endless Testing regime remains in place, doing as much destruction as ever.
Of course, NYSUT supports the Endless testing regime, so no wonder they're declaring victory with the Questar contract.
Wishing upon a Questar for a pot of gold from the education market. This is classic re-branding from fantasy Marketing 101ReplyDelete
More money is flowing down the drain. If there were competitive bidding, I would take a shot at writing a few ELA questions for substantially less.ReplyDelete
Questar had the NYSESLAT contract for several years (until it went to MetriTech this year.) Going back a few years, I was speaking to a Pearson employee and made the comment about Questar and NYSESLAT in a "you guys don't have everything" sort of way. He responded - "we own them and most other testing companies."ReplyDelete
Anything to that?? I've seen where Questar is subcontractor to Pearson, but does anyone know of overlap in ownership / management?
ZERO use of the phrase "Common Core" in the press release.ReplyDelete
Are they leaving the door open for different standards?
Could it be an attempt to quell the opt out movement?
Another change in APPR procedures demanded by Albany accompanied by a change in testing companies. Hmmm...what could be going on here? After years of the "phony reformers" driving NY's education agenda--spending millions of state money, squandering $700M of Federal RTTT money, and mandating huge increases in local taxes to support the Quid Pro Quomo, Tisch, King John educational agenda they now have to change course to avoid the public fully realizing that the policies they have promoted are resulting in education moving backwards in our state. The only way the "faux reformers" can avoid accountability for the fiasco they have created is to keep moving the cheese. Lots of NY residents are becoming aware that Quomo, Tisch and King are frauds--as evidenced by large "opt out" numbers. These three failed leaders need to keep changing the rules and procedures in mid-stream to reduce the chance they will be fully exposed. And these changes are done at the expense of NY taxpayers--and sound education policy. New tests are being put in place to buy time for failed policies advocated by failed reformers--they do not want the facts exposed but NY taxpayers are becoming fully aware that the course they are taking this education in this state is making things worse! When do Quomo, Tisch etc begin to be held fully accountable for their failures? One can only hope it comes soon--these three have been utter failures!ReplyDelete
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